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Consumer behavior analysis and the marketing firm: measures of performance

Foxall, Gordon R. ORCID:, Oliveira-Castro, Jorge and Porto, Rafael 2021. Consumer behavior analysis and the marketing firm: measures of performance. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management 41 (2) , pp. 97-123. 10.1080/01608061.2020.1860860

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Evaluation of firm performance must consider the effects that its products and services have upon consumers. This can be accomplished when measures of consumer behavior inform marketing strategies. Consumer behavior analysis, a field of research that integrates operant behavioral economics and marketing, has developed several measures of consumer buying patterns based on the identification of the types of reinforcement, informational or utilitarian, that are programmed by different products and brands, and of the scope of consumer behavior setting. The present paper describes research that adopted some of these measures and the main results derived from them. Such studies have shown, for instance, that consumers have brand repertoires that include brands offering similar levels of reinforcement, that they tend to change the quantity they buy as a function of package size, price promotions, and utilitarian and informational reinforcement, that consumer individual differences tend to remain relatively stable across time, and that more open settings increase product search duration, decrease the essential value of brands and increase consumers’ reports related to dominance of shopping environments and approach responses. Moreover, these measures of consumer behavior can be integrated with measures of firm behavior to evaluate firm performance, on the basis of an operant interpretation of firm behavior. This paper explains some of these integrated measures and describes results that have shown, for instance, how increases in spending in marketing activities is related to increases in profitability.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
ISSN: 0160-8061
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 December 2020
Date of Acceptance: 1 December 2020
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 16:56

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